February 2 China Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference that China is a friendly neighbor to Myanmar, and we hope that all parties in Myanmar will properly handle their differences and maintain political and social stability under the constitutional and legal framework.
We are maintaining communication with all parties concerned on issues related to the Council. Any action of the international community should contribute to Myanmar’s political and social stability, contribute to Myanmar’s peaceful reconciliation, avoid intensifying contradictions and further complicating the situation.
On the 2nd, the reporter of The Beijing News talked with Xu Liping, a researcher at the Asia-Pacific and Global Strategy Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and director of the Southeast Asian Research Center.
He said that China has long adhered to the policy of living in peace and not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. We hope that Myanmar’s political development can be carried forward in accordance with the legal framework.
In addition, the situation in Myanmar will not have fundamental or subversive changes in China-Myanmar relations in the short term. However, on the economic front, some economic projects of Sino-Myanmar cooperation may be delayed. In the medium and long term, further observation of political changes in Myanmar is still needed, and there are still many uncertainties.
“The geographical location of Myanmar is very important”
What is the position of the Myanmar military in Myanmar’s state power structure? Why can military forces have greatly influenced the situation in Myanmar for a long time?
Xu Liping: This is closely related to the national reconciliation and peace process in Myanmar. Since Myanmar’s independence in 1947, the ethnic problems in Myanmar have not been resolved, especially in northern Myanmar.
The central government army and ethnic minority forces have been engaged in tug-of-war, which also provides a legitimate way for Myanmar’s military forces to intervene in politics.
In recent years, there have been frequent armed conflicts, especially in northern Myanmar, mainly because the military highlights the legitimacy and authority of its domestic political status through such conflicts.
How to view Myanmar’s position in the global geopolitical landscape?
Xu Liping: Myanmar’s geographical location is very important.
It is the link between East Asia and South Asia.
It is a very important transportation route in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
It is precisely because of the importance of geopolitics that Myanmar’s political development process has attracted widespread attention from the international community.
“China and Myanmar have a long history of cooperation”
If there is a political turmoil in Myanmar, what will be the impact on China and Myanmar?
Xu Liping: The change of the situation in Myanmar belongs to its internal affairs, and the principle of Chinese diplomacy is not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
China and Myanmar have a very long history of cooperation, and the relationship between China and Myanmar also exceeds the interests of all parties in Myanmar.
Therefore, whether it is the Democratic League, the military or the Gongfa Party in Myanmar, China adheres to the policy of living peacefully and does not intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.
China is more of a wait-and-see attitude. At the same time, we also hope that Myanmar’s political development can be carried forward in accordance with the legal framework.
If there is a political unrest in Myanmar, there will be no fundamental or subversive change in China-Myanmar relations in the short term. However, on the economic front, some economic projects of Sino-Myanmar cooperation may be delayed.
In the medium and long term, further observation of the political changes in Myanmar is still facing many uncertainties, and it is too early to draw conclusions.
If there is a political turmoil in Myanmar, how will it affect the world geography and what are the main aspects?
Xu Liping: First of all, Myanmar is one of the members of ASEAN.
Myanmar’s internal affairs instability is obviously not conducive to the promotion of ASEAN integration.
Moreover, Myanmar is also the coordinator of China and ASEAN. Many agendas between China and ASEAN still need to be further coordinated through Myanmar.
It can be predicted that if there is a political turmoil in Myanmar, it will Regional cooperation has a negative impact.
In addition, Myanmar also participates in other international cooperation mechanisms, which will also have a certain impact on the cooperation mechanisms in the event of political turmoil in Myanmar.
For example, once there is a political unrest in Myanmar, a large number of refugees will pour into Thailand, which will also have some impact on the situation in Thailand.
“The United States believes that this is the ‘window period’ for intervention in Myanmar’s political situation”
Biden said that he urged the Myanmar military to release the detained officials, otherwise he would take action.
What do you think of the United States’ release of this signal?
Xu Liping: The United States even regards Myanmar’s transformation from a military government to an elected government as a benchmark for implementing electoral politics.
Now the democratically elected government is challenged by the military.
The United States believes that this is a “frustration” for them, or even a “failure” in implementing electoral politics, so it has aroused a strong backlash from the United States.
On the other hand, for the Myanmar military, the release of Myanmar’s politicians as soon as possible is a rational choice.
Because for any reason, the detention of Myanmar’s legitimate political leaders is morally untenable.
The longer the detention, the more the legitimacy of the military will be questioned by the international community.
The Biden administration has also grasped the “weakness” of the military, so if he keeps putting pressure on this respect, he will also get the support of the international community.
Now it is actually a “window period” for the United States to intervene in Myanmar’s political situation.
The next step for the United States will still depend on the Myanmar military’s rational judgment of the situation.
The Beijing News: After the seizure incident in Myanmar, Western countries have strong language, while ASEAN countries have expressed restraint, mostly regarding this as Myanmar’s internal affairs.
I hope Myanmar can return to normal. What do you think of the differences between the two sides?
Xu Liping: Western countries’ strong concern for Myanmar is still based on values.
On the contrary, ASEAN countries have expressed relatively moderate stances on the political situation in Myanmar, because they know that the domestic political situation in Myanmar is very complex, and it is difficult to generalize the current political situation with labels such as “democracy” and “dictatorship”.